Monday, September 29, 2008

terror alert: green/blue

here is a picture of me the first time i stepped into the ADT center last year:

we will call that the wimper of terror, as i walked up to turn 1/2 and stared straight down the bank and my pulse started beating like i was finished with a sprint.

after that stupid move, i learned the cardinal rule of going to steep tracks: don't walk to the top until you are done! i followed this rule at portland. (although i was still scared pretty shitless out there as well.) but after the weekend races were done, i walked to turn 3/4 and almost shat my pants looking at the angle going down and was quite amazed with how i actually rode my bike on it for the whole weekend. perhaps the lesson learned is: don't think about it, just do what you do.

well, this is all moot. the point is, when i went to blaine the other week, it was super easy and i think my anxiety of those steep tracks is significantly less. nevertheless, i thought this picture of terror would be funny to post right as i am about to leave for nationals. cause, while i may not feel that way about the track anymore, perhaps that is how i should feel about the whole experience.

but actually.... my terror level at the moment is probably green or blue. this i guess is good. to be honest i thought i'd defintiely be orange or red right about now. maybe i will rise in the next few days, as my racing starts thursday...but i don't really think i'll get above yellow. all in all, i've felt surprisingly un-overwhelmed about the whole thing. (knock on wood)

this moment is one where i am really happy i am unattached, because no one gives a shit about how i do. and as my sole unattached teammate michiko told me this weekend: "the only thing i care about is that you put your quad measurement on your blog every thursday!" (which i have been slacking on, but it was 63cm last thursday). so if that is the amount of outside pressure i get, i can certainly handle it.

this moment is also a time where it is especially nice being new and being my first time going to nationals... kind of just take it all in, do my best, and see what it is like. i have a couple small and modest personal goals for the week and am leaving it at that. getting good results (well, at least for someone like me), takes years and years of training, and is a very slow process. so i am just going to spin my midget gear heart out, and see what it is all like.

my schedule is as follows:
thursday- 500m, scratch qualifiers
friday- keirin, ?scratch finals?
saturday- 200m, sprints?
sunday- team sprint

i don't know if i will be able to post updates, cause i will not be brining a computer with me... but i bet fixedgear fever will be doing those live updates and i will be sure to write a funny debreif [i promise it will be funny, unlike this post] of the whole experience upon my return.... BEFORE my root canal!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

getting fresh

this sums up states.

hincapie jeans?

a few people have sent me pictures of the new hincapie women's jeans.

could it be my little campaign to get rock & republic to make keirin cut jeans was directed in the wrong place?! who would have thought contacting hincapie athletic wear may have been more well recieved than a jean company?

foiled again. a kurva ehletbe.

i don't think i am going to hear anything from rock & republic. a shame, really, because i am going to be in LA next week and was looking forward to having breakfast with michael ball.

i realize i can't get everything i want from corporate america.... my brand name will probably never come about.....but, i do hope the women's cut hincapie jeans have a favorable quad to waist ratio. i read they are in their fifth prototype. i don't know who the protypes are, but i hope that they are some some big quaded women.

all that said, that butt pocket design looks hideous! and these jeans kind of do look like they are something my mom would wear. that picture above is no sprinter quads. i should just take that one commenter suggestion and go to lane bryant and buy a new belt.

a kurva ehletbe

that is my favorite hungarian swear phrase. it stands for "fucking life." really, i think it is more of a philosophy on life than a swear phrase, and i could get into it, but that is for later, for now, let's just leave it at: "a kurva ehlebe" [pronunciation: ah ker-vuh ay-let-bay]

why now?

well, i just went to the dentist. i love my dentist. i mean, i really, really love my dentist. i talk about him quite frequently. he is excellent, if you need a dentist. dr. kenneth louie DDS. he does all the cleaning himself; no hygenist. he is very gentle and quick and doesn't ever push cosmetic dentistry. nor does ever attempt to overtreat things. he also saved my front teeth when i was in a bad crash at the early birds two years ago and i thought they were going to fall out. moreover, he has funny posters on his ceiling that you can look at and he is very shy and sometimes makes funny comments like, today: "my job would be so much easier if people didn't have tounges."

so, today i had my dentist appointment and it was time to get full x-rays, as the last time i had them was 2002. he took the xrays, cleaned my teeth, said i was doing really well at brushing and didn't think i had any problems. then he went to look at the lenses and there was an absess in one of my front teeth and he told me the unthinkable: you need a root canal.

absess? i have never even had a cavity! he said this was likely due to my bike crash 2 years ago at the early birds. that the nerve got cut off and the tissue inside the tooth is dying or something like that. all i have to say is: a kurva ehletbe.

just for a moment, let me rant. whatever, crash shmash. but it is particularly annoying when you are still feeling their effects 1.5 years later. it is like: the permenant droopy left lip because of the scar tissue isn't bad enough....or the yellow front tooth that is bruised....or the permanent blue scar on my right cheek that looks like a pen mark and at least once a week someone either tells me i have pen on my face, or tries to rub it off with their spit.... no, those are not good enough physical reminders of how i am a dumbshit. now, i have to get a root canal... and the day after i get back from nationals. a kurva ehletbe.

and just for old time sake:

monday, january 8 2007
thursday, january 11, 2007
for more gore and/or explanation on this wonderful moment in my life: here and here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

that's it - i am moving!

so i am in minnesota right now for a work conference. when i found out i was going to come, i got in touch with karla's friends from minneapolis, andy and gwen. i had met andrew at AVC and gwen sometimes blogs and writes funny things i mine. they are certainly the nicest people ever.

so i let oakland airport at 6am sunday and got into minneapolis at 1:30 and took the light rail where andrew and gwen picked me up, and from there we went straight to the track. andy was so awesome and had arranged for me to use his friends bike to do training on. it was so amazing and kind of both of them to hook me up so much! it has made my week!

the track out here is so awesome! so, it is like ADT track, wooden, 250m, 45ish degree banking-- except it has character. (no offense to ADT, but it doesn't feel like it has lots of character per say.) the wooden track isn't glossy or coated like ADT, so that means the minimum speed is a little bit slower i think. (that makes doing a flying effort a lot easier, cause you don't have to go super fast during the prior laps windup before you jump.) it is also outside, which is awesome! there is just something much nicer about being outside while riding a bike. (to those non-track riders, this is probably a no-duh!") the only thing that was a bit different for me to get used to, is there is no apron-- you are pretty much on the blue band, or off the track. other than that, the track was really easy to ride. i don't know if it was easy for me because this is now my fourth track i've been on, and i have gotten a bit used to different tracks... or because it is just not that intimidating. i think the later. it was just easy to get on and have fun on. it didn't feel all intimidating like ADT. it was totally midwest and that is why i love it!
well, i had a great time riding... doing some standing starts, flying 200s, and other efforts. gwen is a total champion holder and counter downer! the bike andy got for me was sweet! the only funny thing for me is i used a 51t for the first time ever! that is because the chain was too long for my regular 48t. but don't get all excited, i used a 16t cog.

gwen and andy then took me to some awesome restaurant where we ate yummy nachos, amazing dinners, and some really good tea til we were stuffed. they are both so amazing awesome for hooking me up so much and being so amazing and hospitable.

so, all the bay area folks-- next year we DEFINITELY need to make the trip to their june "fixed gear classic!" it is the minneapolis AVC! it will be a blast because: 1) people in minneapolis are amazing and so kind! 2) minneapolis is an awesome city, which i am finding out, and 3) the track is so wonderful to ride! so, be sure to clear your calendar for their fixed gear classic race!

here is gwen and i outside the nsc velodrome!

(thanks andy for the picture-- i forgot my camera as usual!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

thank you betsy

for the poem you left me that reminded you of me.

This is Just to Say
by William Carlos Wilson

I have eaten 
the plums
that were in 
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

what can i say?  i am a charming housemate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

cause garrett asked for it-- states re-cap

so i am behind a little bit.

first things first
september 4 - 63cm
september 11- 62.75cm
okay, now that that is out of the way, hopefully michiko will continue to talk to me....

garret, i wish this was more interesting, but i can only exaggerate so was a pretty uneventful weekend.

so track districts or track states (for the northern part of the state), or whatever they call it these days... was this weekend. it was pretty anti-climactic. even more anti-climactic than last year. thank goodness there is more racing for the year, because such minuscule field sizes would not be the way i would have wanted to end a year. beth welliver and i had one goal for the weekend: team beth domination. well, that didn't quite work out, but it was fun nonetheless to talk shit about....and, really, it is hard to use the 'domination' word when there are only a handful of you. so, here is the boring race rundown....and i worn you, it is boring!

500m- i have been jonesing to break 40"... but, things don't seem to be working out my way. i false started on my start. i first blame myself. i next blame peter bohl for blabbing up a storm during the countdown and trying to give me literally last second advice as casey is saying 5,4,3,2, i pretty much left a full second early, as i am dumb and have difficultly listening to two people at once, apparently. oops. my second start was obviously bad. but it was extra bad. kind of frustrating for me, cause i have been working on the starts a bunch and i think they have gotten better, but i have yet to show that during an actual race. anyway, i guess i can't complain too much, cause i did have a personal best, 40.2, but i know i should have been faster than that.

keirin- we had 6 for this race, so that was exciting. i asked larry nolan to hold me, and hoped some of his mojo would rub off on me. which it did. i took the moto, it pulled off and i pretty much just kept pace on the back stretch, front stretch, turn 1&2--and made sure no one came over. then jumped hard out of the turn to win.

team sprint- so i was looking forward to this event the most of all! annabell is on fire right now, and i am feeling really good, and i knew that we could pull out a sweet, sweet time-- maybe breaking 52". my biggest concern, obviously, was the start. she was going first-- last time she gapped me a bit, so i was hoping to stay on her wheel off the line. well, i had probably one of my best starts to date and got on her wheel! i was so stoked cause i knew that she would bring me up to a bitchin' speed and i could hold it for a lap longer. then, suckyness occurred. coming out of turn four we both heard this loud NOISE. it kinda sounded like i hit her front wheel or something, but it was my back wheel and it skipped up track. that kind of through me off balance and i didn't know what to do or what happened..... did my tire pop? did my wheel slip? was i going to go down if i kept pedaling? should i keep sprinting? these were all thought i had just as annabelle was pulling off--and i definitely eased up and wasn't going as fast as i could at this point...but finished the race, but a full second slower than our time last time. i was pretty bummed. gio saw what happened, and said that i was super stiff in my upper body, and i was riding in the rut of the pavement and hit it at the right time to skip up. kind of a bummer, because we don't get a lot of opportunities to do team sprints...but, lesson learned not to ride in the gutter. i feel/felt pretty bad, cause annabel came that whole day just to do the team sprint with me, and then i buffed it cause of something stupid.

sunday was the sprints & scratch race. it was a pretty crappy day for me..

my 200 sucked balls. it was cold, but i was so slow it wasn't even humorous. beth welliver and i were the only people entering the tournement. jill wasn't feeling well, so she didn't do the match sprints. we learned some good things, though, and jill was awesome and stuck around and gave us pointers after each of our rides. it was so so nice! let me just say how freakin' fast of a sprinter beth welliver is! she is going to be real nasty next year!

scratch race was probably even worse for me. i felt crappy and in a bad mood and i rode like it. i should have gotten lapped a couple times, cause it was fast. but i shouldn't have gotten lapped 12 times. well, maybe 12 is a bit of an exageration, but whatever...i should have ridden much better than i did.

so, that was my long ass weekend at the track, with painfully small field sizes--but i was pretty much expecting that... thanks to all the women who did come out-- both this weekend & all the women who came out to the track this year in general. it was really fun having women's fields, and i hope that next year we can just get some of those field sizes for elite qualifiers & states.

Monday, September 15, 2008

sunday sunday

head on out to the track this sunday for shelley's first fundraiser & send off to the world cups! this will be a fun, low-key race with some racing, music, food, beer, and good times!

and here is a very nice email from shelley:
Hello Everyone,

Niki and I are at it again. The World Cup Track Season is just around the corner and we are getting ready for what should be a very successful year for the PROMAN Racing Team. The team this year is going to be much smaller. In fact, I am the team.

The World Cup Season starts this year in Manchester, England on October 31st. Tickets for the event are already sold out. Great Britain had huge success in the Olympics this year and they hope to carry on the tradition at the first world cup event. However, I am looking to spoil there hopes for success in the Women's Points and Scratch Race events. The goal for me this year is to earn my ticket to the World Championships by scoring enough UCI points throughout the course of the season to earn a spot at Worlds. I would also like to be invited by the National Team to at least one World Cup this season, either by winning the Points Race at Nationals, or by racing my butt off at the first two world cups and giving them no other choice but to select me as a member of the National Team.

Last year, I was so fortunate to have the support of so many amazing people. I feel that we all came together for the cause and that I was not only racing for myself, but for all of you as well. This year, I am going to need your help again. We have already confirmed the dates for the first three Ride the World Cup Track Fundraisers. The dates are as follows:

Sunday, September 21st Saturday,
October 18th
November 8th.

Please come out and share this experience with me in whatever way you can. I need to be prepared for the level of talent in the women's fields at the world cups and racing with the locals at Hellyer is just what I need to whip myself into shape. Ben Jaques-Maynes, if you are out there, please come make me chase you down. If I can only hold your wheel for a half a lap, that's good enough for me.

The first event is right around the corner, so I apologize for the late announcement. We are hoping this race will be a great opportunity for those riders still gearing up for Elite Nationals to get some solid racing. The event will be the same format as last year and the party will be just as fun. If you cannot race, please come and hang out and cheer us on. We will have great food, beer, drinks, music, and raffle prizes.

I have attached a flyer for you to pass on to your teammates and friends. The flyer should have all of the information you need, but if not, we have created a website that has all of the information as well and will be updated throughout the course of the season. I thank you all in advance for being a part of my dream. I couldn't do any of this without you.

Shelley Olds


Friday, September 12, 2008

direct from the master: alti's manual on podium girl kisses

so after i was podium girl tuesday night, i commented in my blog about how awkward lots of people were. i emailed mark altimarano about this phenomenon, and he agreed to share some of his smooth moves with the wider public. who is mark? well, let's just say this: he's been all over the world.

Direct from the lips of Alti:

You know Beth brings up a good point about some of the geazers out there needing some lessons on how to conduct themselves when hitting the podium. This past week @ Masters Track Nats, I observed, first hand, some peculiar behavior on the behalf of my fellow competitors while collecting podium hardware and congrats. So let me help by offering a little advice, laying down some guidelines and breaking it down:

1-Be cool!! This is not your chance at getting some tongue from someone, who is, most likely, way younger and hotter than you!

2-Smile and keep it light! You aren't trying to reach into the soul of whomever is hanging that medal around your neck. This is kind of like kissing your grandmom. You wouldn't want to makeout with your granny, would you??

3- No Frontal Approaches and no lip puckering!!!!! FAs are monster scary and strictly forbidden-a definite foul.
Podium Girl's Vantage Point

The podium kiss is merely a touching of cheeks with lips never contacting skin. If it happens that lips contact the cheeks it is done with only a light touch. There is no transmitting or exchanging of any saliva here.

4- Podium kisses are merely European greetings and come in two versions: FRENCH- three kisses (no!!! That's not with the tongue!!) and SPANISH-two kisses. Stick to simple movements: 1) Bow to receive the medal around your neck 2) turn the head slightly to your left for a light touch of the cheek and then 3) turn your head to the right for another touch of the other cheek. That's it for the Spanish style! (If you go French then turn one more time, back to your left and your done.)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

t of britain

who is excited for the tour of britain?  me me me me! 

well, it isn't really cause i care that much about the results, i will be honest....  it is cause i got a phone message from the rock racing guy, who said that he was going to see michael during the tour of britain to tell him about keirin cut.

what i really wish, though, if i could be a fly on the wall during that conversation. will the guy present the idea seriously? what will michael ball's reaction be?  will they talk about it over shephard's pie?  tea and biscuits?  

hmmm, these are all interesting things to contemplate as i go to sleep.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

podium girl re-cap

so before i was podium girl last night, i was selling t-shirts. can you believe TWO old men pulled the same line?
"i'll take three: one for me, one for my wife, and one for my girlfriend. HAR HAR HAR."
old men think they are sooo funny and original. but they are not. but you are obliged to laugh anyway. i learned this in high school when i was a waitress at bob evan's restaurant. those counter coffee guys are all the same. except some leave you a 50 cent tips, and some leave you a dollar.

then i was podium girl and put on a most ridiculous cupcake dress with a petit four. also there was a really ugly hanky tied in my hair. i don't have a picture, but i think tim b. took a before and after shot. so if i get it, i will post it.

it is kind of awkward kissing some people on the cheek and they don't know how to turn their head properly, so you kinda hit their chin or neck, cause they don't bend down enough...or they give you that real awkward three pats on the back. not so slick. but some, like mark altimarno, are totally smooth.

when it was the 30-34 year old women's podium, i told jen tripplett i'd give her a hicky. and then i re-applied some ugly lipstick so jen featheringill was stuck with a big red mark on her cheek for the podium picture. mwahaha.

the usa cycling guy was super impressed with my mad podium girl skillzzz. you would have thought it was brain surgery with the amount of instructions i was given to hand jersies and medals out. and then i got so much affirmation i was doing "a good job" i kinda wanted to do something uncouth just to see what he would say. i was waiting my whole cycling career for that very moment, and so happy i really nailed it. i'm retiring.

so lots of people were tearing it up yesterday. kudos to annabelle for her 2nd place & 39.6 500m! whoa! that is so awesome. she also gave me some very good advice. she always gives good advice, but this was especially good: don't drop the f-bomb around the usa cycling official. apparently she was stoked she broke 40, so when she got off the track she was f-ing this and that, and the official shook a little finger at her. that'd certainly could be a really funny DQ that one would never live down.

so i learned one really big lesson volunteering. don't - under any circumstances - stick tape on your lips because you don't know where to put it. at some point on monday i was fighting the wind and a sign and stuck some tape on my face, that happened to land on my bottom lip. and then it hurt real bad when i pulled it off...and now i have the half-chapped/half bloody lip...which is kinda like ohio winters, cause i am stubborn and don't use chapstick... let's just say: tape on lip + cheap, 10yr old lipstick + podium girl duties + my inability to keep touching and licking things that hurt = owie!